Theatrical Releases: Hercules & Lucy

HERCULES || July 25th, 2014

HappyChristmas-poster Joe Swanberg probably got your attention with his feature “Drinking Buddies”, starring Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, and Anna Kendrick, but this year he follows that up with another film starring Kendrick titled “Happy Christmas”. In it, she plays a party girl that moves in with her brother (played by director Swanberg) and his wife (Melanie Lynskey) and their child. Setting fires and passing out drunk in the hallway, I would assume eventually everyone learns the errors of their ways.
RENTAL
Hercules-poster Apparently the world needs a jacked up Hercules and who better to play him than former WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From what I have been hearing about “Hercules”, it does not take itself too seriously, which is a must as The Rock fights giant lions, three headed beasts, and demons of all sorts. Also starring Ian McShane, who has been known to bring a much-too-seriousness to his roles (“Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”) hopefully this will redeem him.
THEATER
Lucy-poster Luc Besson wears his directing hat for the first science fiction film he has done since “The Fifth Element”. Guiding the ever gorgeous Scarlett Johansson through the role of the title character in “Lucy”, Besson takes plenty of risks with the actress. Using marketing that almost taunts viewers that “we only use 10% of our brains”, the premise then becomes what happens when Lucy is drugged and begins to use 20% and up. Also starring “Old Boy” helmer Min-Sik Choi, there is enough going on in the film to hold your attention, but with some poor film-making choices, this definitely not Besson’s best work.

AndSoItGoes-poster Michael Douglas playing a hard-headed yet likable jerk in “And So It Goes” is almost enough to peak interest in this film. Add a humorous little girl, played by Stering Jerins, and my attention is drawn even more so. Despite a horrible attempt at marketing with this trailer, containing some less than fitting music cues and feeling very childish in its delivery, this Rob Reiner film about an old man learning to be compassionate is just barely on my radar now.
25% MAYBE
AngryVideoGameNerdTheMovie-poster Poorly produced comedies are really hard to get behind but at least “Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie” is trying to look as poorly produced as possible. Reminiscent of the “Tim and Eric Awesome Show” era of bad comedy, the film follows a self-described nerd as he ventures to Area 51 to look for the worst video game ever made that was apparently dumped in a landfill back in the Atari days to avoid the embarrassment of being called the worst game ever. Mixing aliens with the comic con generation, this film does not look as bad as it could, but that is not saying much.
PASS
Beneath-poster Almost any horror film becomes instantly somewhat interesting to me and the same goes for “Beneath” which would be scary enough if the coal mine collapse that the film centers around were people killing people just in general. But for some reason a supernatural force is added to the story-line, possessing the trapped miners who include a female who was just along for the ride. Reminiscent of “The Descent”, the film won Best Picture at Screamfest which sells it a little bit more than most similar badges of honor.
25% MAYBE
Cannibal-poster What an interesting concept. Imagine a story of Hannibal Lector where we watch him fall in love and contemplate whether he can change or not. “Cannibal” is basically that premise, as a secluded, lonely man who eats people falls in love with a women next door and discusses whether there is a place in this world for him despite his love for human flesh. Antonio de la Torre plays the suave looking, yet somewhat innocent looking cannibal in this Spanish-Romanian foreign film.
75% MOST LIKELY
ComeBackToMe-poster A strange young man is killing the same woman and bringing her back to life every night without her knowing: sound pretty strange to me. “Come Back To Me” is a fatal attraction story-line mixed with a psychological thriller as the female of affection is unaware of what happens to her every night. As her life falls apart, she finally puts up a hidden camera to see what happens and she finds the neighbor boy killing her and bringing her back. Original to say the least, this is still not enough to sell me.
PASS
TheFluffyMovie-poster For a second I thought this was going to be a fictional movie about Gabriel Iglesias, given the title, “The Fluffy Movie”. Like Larry The Cable Guy doing movies with her on stage persona, I thought for sure Iglesias was selling out. But really, this is a chronicling of his life on the road to stardom as he sells out giant stadiums now, coming from his modest background in small clubs. Given his very funny stand-up routines, there is a strong chance of me catching this when it hits home video.
25% MAYBE
IroncladBattleForBlood-poster What happens when your character dies on “Game Of Thrones”? You find yourself in a small budget sequel filled with knights, and kings, and battles. Michelle Fairley, who you know as Catelyn Stark from Seasons One through Three of “Game Of Thrones”, finds herself in this sequel called “Ironclad: Battle For Blood”. Where the original at least had Paul Giamatti as the villain, this film feels drained completely of life with only Fairly offering a sense of star power. Without more, it basically becomes just another film riding on the coat tails of “Game Of Thrones” and not even cleverly.
PASS
JustinAndTheKnightsOfValour-poster Perhaps I missed the point of this animated film, “Justin and the Knights Of Valour”, but why exactly is Justin learning to become a knight? Is there a war on the way? Does his city need protecting? With very little direction, the trailer feels a bit flat and gives little reasoning to how this lands differently than say a far superior animated film in “How To Train Your Dragon”. But as with most things in life, the existence of really bad animated films help you to appreciate the good ones.
PASS
TheKillTeam-poster Do not be surprised if you see this documentary again come Academy Award nomination time. It is films like “The Kill Team” that often grab the attention of Oscar voters, looking back at former nominations like “Hell And Back Again” and “The Invisible War”, both of which take a deeper look at the life of those in the military and particular the strife that being in the armed forces brings to them. This particular film is about men accused of shooting innocents in Afghanistan and the situations that lead to those events.
PASS
ALetterToMomo-poster Following in the absence of and following in the footsteps of Miyazaki, Hiroyuki Okiura takes on the same Japanese anime dramas that made the former famous. Approaching his film “A Letter To Momo” in the same comedic styling, even the premise feels like a Miyazaki film, where a young girl named Momo finds herself morning over the loss of her father when suddenly she can see three goblins who, through their comical statures, help her to cope with the loss, bringing her on an adventure that follows most of these films.
50% PROBABLY
MagicInTheMoonlight-poster2 Woody Allen’s latest, “Magic In The Moonlight”, sees Colin Firth playing a magician trying to debunk Emma Stone’s character as being a fraud in the form of a psychic. But as the trailer suggests, she might not be as big of a fraud as he makes her out to be, as she continuously and often hilariously proves that she knows so much more than she should about his family. Eventually a love blossoms between the two. All you had to say to me was Emma Stone but pairing her with Woody Allen seems perfect and a strong assumption would be that we will be seeing this screenplay nominated for an Oscar.
THEATER
AMasterBuilder-poster “Master Builder Solness” is not a play I am familiar with and with a description like this: “based on Gregory’s near-legendary theatrical production of Shawn’s adaptation of Ibsen’s Master Builder Solness”, I am so confused that I do not really even care to see this theatrical version called “A Master Builder”. Starring Wallace Shawn as the title character, an architect facing his eventual death, the appearance of a mysterious woman causes him to feel well again.
PASS
AMostWantedMan-poster Containing one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final roles, as well as a star-studded cast in Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright, “A Most Wanted Man” is already a must-see without even watching the trailer. Also coming from the novelist behind “Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy”, this is set to be a knock-out. Hoffman stars a security agent moving pieces on a chessboard to try and find exactly what the title suggest, a most wanted man.
THEATER
MyManIsALoser-poster Where in the hell has John Stamos been? The last thing I remember him in was “Full House”. Now he finds himself as the answer to Will Smith’s “Hitch” in this romantic comedy titled “My Man Is A Loser”. Helping two married men in the form of Michael Rappaport and Bryan Callen to reconnect with their wives, there is something sincere about the delivery of this film that just might get me to watch it. That and being able to embrace an R rating, it might just be enjoyable.
25% MAYBE
Propaganda-poster “Propaganda” actually looks just twisted enough to work. Described in the comments of this trailer as a mockumentary meeting the world of propaganda, the film-makers appear to have developed a video that could have easily been produced by someone in North Korean that takes a hard, humiliating look at the current state of the Untied States and the abysmal American values, most specifically highlighted are the values placed on celebrities.
50% PROBABLY
VeryGoodGirls-poster Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning are actually a dream team when you seem them playing best friends on screen together in the directorial debut of Naomi Foner titled “Very Good Girls”. Falling for and fighting over the same guy, the girls look to lose their virginity before going off to college. With a star-studded cast playing their parents, including Clark Gregg, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, and Richard Dreyfuss, the film feels like the perfect coming of age film with some of the best actresses in the business.
THEATER

THEATER

  • Hercules
  • Lucy
  • Magic In The Moonlight
  • A Most Wanted Man
  • Very Good Girls

RENTAL

  • Happy Christmas

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

  • Cannibal

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

  • A Letter To Momo
  • Propaganda

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • And So It Goes
  • Beneath
  • The Fluffy Movie
  • My Man Is A Loser

PASS

  • Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
  • Come Back To Me
  • Ironclad: Battle For Blood
  • Justin and the Knights of Valour
  • The Kill Team
  • A Master Builder

HELL NO

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